The UAE ministry of economy announced that it would fork out AED$350m (US$95m) to support Ramadan discounts for food on Sunday (May 5).
According to the government, about 650 co-ops and sales outlets will launch discounts of up to 75% for about 10,000 items.
Since April, both international and local grocery retailers have started to introduce Ramadan festive season discounts.
For Dubai-based retailer Union Coop, some of the biggest price cuts went to imported meat products, such as the Australian lamb, where retail price went down 30% from AED$45.05/kg (US$12.25/kg) to AED$31.50/kg (US$8.58/kg).
The retail price of dairy products such as the fresh Nabulsi cheese also dropped 30%, from AED$48.30 (US$13.18/kg) to AED$33.75 (US$9.19).
International supermarket chain Carrefour, which is operated in the UAE by local retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim, announced last week that it was pouring over AED$110m (US$29.9m) for its Ramadan promotional campaign. This is an 80% increase when compared to last year.
The campaign will provide discounts of up to 77% for food items and 50% for non-food items. Over 12,000 items will be discounted.
“This year, the objective of our campaign is to drive even greater value and convenience for customers to help ease their shopping experiences, allowing them to truly embrace the spirit of Ramadan and share great moments with those who matter most,” said Philippe Peguilhan, country manager of Carrefour UAE.
More imports in Ramadan
To meet increased food demand during the festive season, the UAE government will also pump up the daily import of vegetable and fruits.
For Dubai, the daily vegetable and fruits imported would reach 23,000 tonnes to 25,000 tonnes during Ramadan, while that to Abu Dhabi will exceed 4,500 tonnes, the director of the Competitiveness and Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi said during a media briefing on May 5.
On the other hand, the current stock of vegetables and fruits in the country has been pumped up to about 130,000 tonnes this year.
This was attributed to the recent advancements in storage refrigerators in the Al Mina Fruit and Vegetable Souk – a marketplace in Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s Al Aweer Central Fruit and Vegetable Market.